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Living and Sustaining a Creative Life: Essays by 40 Working Artists

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  186 ratings  ·  15 reviews
In this day and age, when art has become more of a commodity and art school graduates are convinced that they can only make a living from their work by attaining gallery representation, it is more important than ever to show the reality of how a professional, contemporary artist sustains a creative practice over time. The forty essays collected in Living and Sustaining a C ...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published October 15th 2013 by Intellect Ltd (first published January 1st 2013)
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Prima Seadiva
May 05, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: the-arts
I was a bit disappointed. I had hoped some of the essays would approach the subject from viewpoints other than earning a living as an artist. Most of the writers worked only as an artist or worked in a teaching or other art related work as well.
Most of the rest of us don't. We work in other jobs and do our art. The challenge is to continue to do art and feel relevant in spite of work or with a spare table being our only affordable studio.
It was somewhat interesting to read about other artists'
Debbie Hoskins
This is a GREAT book that helped me define and self-validate myself as an artist.
The book starts with a wonderful quote from Carter E. Foster, Curator, Whitney Museum of American Art.
"Sure , some artists are lucky enough that they can make a living doing it while other artists work day jobs or supplement their practice by teaching or other means. But I don't think the distinction is IMPORTANT. It's the seriousness of purpose that I admire the most."
My definition of purpose is down deep, gut lev
Isla McKetta
Jan 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Making a life as an artist - both the making a living and the constant questioning and growth - can be both extremely difficult and extremely rewarding. In the 40 essays in this book, various visual artists explore how they make their creative lives work. I was so excited about how these artists opened their lives to provide some real insight, that I started examining what life is like for me as a writer and artist.

This book should be required reading for anyone who is making a career as any typ
Jan 07, 2015 rated it liked it
This isn't a book that you'd want to read in one sitting because the essays are pretty similar. I would read one or two essays in the morning with my coffee and they would always get me ready and excited to get to work in my studio.
Apr 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018
I really liked this book, a great juxtaposition to 33 Artists in 3 Acts. Louden asked everyday working artists to talk about how they balance life with art. These are artists most of of us never heard of, but are creating art that enriches their lives and those around them. I really liked the essays, the pictures of their art and the real life stories they tell.
Jun 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
A good overview from successful artists on the creative journey. No quick fix, one-size-fits-all, solution to balancing finances, a day job, a family, and the pressing need for more time, but a thorough sharing between artists who have discovered what works for them.
Aug 08, 2017 rated it it was ok
Started off on the right track but got repetitive.
Mar 21, 2017 rated it liked it
The book was an interesting account of these artists' lives but was not as descriptive as one would believe. The tools used to get to their current position or actual trajectory was not outlined specifically. The book was more of a general "this is what I did" versus actual tools you could look at and possibly use for yourself.
Mar 19, 2017 rated it liked it
The essays are fine and are what the title describes but they're flat somehow, and too similar. I'm not sure what would add a spark to this book but it did seem to lack something.
Jun 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: art, deadtree, 2014
The latest contender for my favourite read this year, this is a wonderful collection of essays by 40 working artists. The essays deal with all the joys, pains, complexities, and trivialities of being a working artist, covering everything from how to actually get the work done, the creative process, creative blocks, and the usual self-doubt that goes with being an artist, to juggling relationships and family, money, gallery representation, and being a part of a creative community. There’s a lot t ...more
Ann Tracy
Mar 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
i didn't learn anything earth shattering from this book, but it was a good reminder that i'm not alone in the struggles of trying to live a creative life. interesting to read how 40 very different artists manage to make ends meet in a variety of ways. my favorite thing about this book was the diversity. the editor chose artists of various ages, locations (from nyc to rural farms), and philosophies.
Kimberly Nichols
Nov 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Excellent book that any artist who wishes to make their work and make a living doing so should read.
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“The power of creativity does not just lie in an artist’s work, but also in how he or she continues to create regardless of the obstacles life places in the way.” 1 likes
“It’s hard to be lazy in the studio when your students are blossoming all over the place.” 0 likes
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